The Thinking Machine
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Slag Gallery is pleased to present THE THINKING MACHINE, a solo show featuring the most recent body of work by Steve McClure. Here McClure showcases a series of powerful oil paintings on linen in which through simple techniques and materials such as a brush and ink the artist explores the relationship between the hand and eye.
In this extraordinary exhibition, the works are informed by direct observation and memory. Emerging from these paintings one can see illuminated landscapes, soviet icebreakers, lions, fashion models, dancers, whales, snow-capped mountains, satyrs, horses and other visual elements that refer to drama, artifice, death, and history. Painted in succession, in between periods of contemplation, the images develop and lead in unexpected directions. Presented in series, alongside each other, the relationship between images illustrate how meaning and narrative can be suggested by a succession of images, and yet this is created by the spectator. McClure explains: “I try to engage the viewer in an active relationship with the immediate present and endless time”.
Additionally, in THE THINKING MACHINE McClure continues to examine the relationship between painting, photography and cinema. Not only the single paintings but the succession of these carefully selected images bring to mind a number of cinematic techniques; this method allows the viewer to pour back into the sequence itself the emotional reactions prompted by the work. McClure's fascination with pretending recognizes the viewer's ability to produce their own timeline thanks to the plasticity of the group of works, plasticity that is heightened by the craft. Technically McClure's proposal is also extremely interesting, throughout the sequences one can see the masterful treatment of the oil paint as if it were ink. The black and hints of white are thinned with turpentine/linseed oil or glazing to create warm grays, and add depth to the images.
Steve McClure holds a BA in Studio art from the University of South Florida, Tampa FL. He has had multiple exhibitions in outstanding institutions such as Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn; New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY; Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro; Bronx Museum of Arts, New York, NY; Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa; International Print Center, NY; Erik Axelsund Gallery, Stockholm; and the Triangle Arts Association, Brooklyn, among others. McClure’s work has been showcased in venues like Miami Art Fair, Bleu Acier, Tampa. Moreover, McClure’s work is part of prestigious collections such as those of the Museum of Fine Arts, St Petersburg and the Weatherspoon Museum of Art, Greensboro and has received awards from the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown; Lower East Side Printshop, NY, and Bronx Museum of Arts, NY.